Community Groups 8/25/2013

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This Sunday we had the privilege of hearing from one of the greats, Pastor Max Lucado. Please, use these questions to stimulate group discussion in your Community Groups based on Lucado’s sermon. If you missed the sermon, please go to the archives and watch or listen.

Group Discussion

1. “You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime, don’t be foolish or naive. But don’t despair either. With God’s help, you will get through this.” Lucado told a lady who suffered the desertion of her husband and a man who was struggling at work. Lucado pulls these words of hope from the story of Joseph, in the bottom of a pit, forsaken by his brothers. How do these words speak into your life in your present trials or in the lives of your family and friends?

2. Joseph’s trial was sudden and unexpected and the pit he was thrown in and the prison he was sent in to was deep, dark and despairing. But in the midst of his trials he was not crushed but grew and excelled. In light of the sufferings of Joseph and (more importantly) the sufferings of Jesus, how do you gain motivation to endure and see the light in the deep, dark and despairing trials you unexpectedly find yourself in? What verses in the Bible do you pull from to gain strength and memorize to cherish in these times?

3. “We need a better theology of suffering…” Lucado states further, “[it is] not that God removes our problems BUT GOD uses our problems to accomplish a higher purpose.’ The phrase ‘but God’ that Joseph uses redefines and clarifies the purpose and perspective of Christian suffering. How does the simple Phrase “But God” confront and conform your view of suffering in light of the nearness of God whether you feel him or not?

4. Lastly, Lucado shared a story of a man who had to tell his whole family that their 5 year old son/brother had died, tragically. The man began the news by asking his family members to recall attributes of God that are good that they cherish and hold dear. What attributes and characteristics of God do you hold on to through your trials and how have they provided you strength?

Group Prayer

Repentance.

Pray and confess the times where you failed to see God in the midst of your trials and find the joy that comes from experiencing the nearness of God.

Thanksgiving.

Remember Christ’s salvation for you! Consider your passion and zeal in the
moment you first believed. Thank the Lord that we may encounter him
everyday through our suffering Savior, Christ Jesus!

Supplication.

Ask the Lord to empower you with the Holy Spirit so that you can reach a few people this week with the message of hope in a hurting world. Ask the Lord to help you with your words and speech especially if you feel intimidated by those whom you share with.

**The following questions are used by Harvest Community Groups to facilitate discussion time in a small-group setting and to dig deeper into God’s Word. We encourage you to use them in your home or small group – or better yet, join one of our Community Groups! Information can be found at Communitygroups.harvest.org.**